Guidance for pupils: Choosing your GCSE subjects

1 December 2023

It can be intimidating to be presented with your GCSE options in Year 9, and feeling pressure when it comes to making the right decision for you future is natural. However, with the launch of our new GCSE curriculum, including one year GCSEs, we will now be running more subjects for our Year 10 and 11, giving our pupils more choice, and thus taking away that feeling of doors closing, at least for a little while. Our International Baccalaureate programmes, studied during Sixth Form, are also designed to keep options open for as long as possible, ensuring that you students do not limit themselves too early.

The academic curriculum is complemented by an extensive programme of Games and Activities. The breadth of the curriculum, both inside and outside of the classroom, provides opportunities for all pupils to enjoy a full range of activities, sports and intellectual disciplines. We seek to ensure that pupils become more confident, motivated, resilient, determined and independent during their time with us. We aim to give all pupils an understanding of themselves as learners, as young adults and as global citizens. In addition, we want pupils to realise their own strengths, weaknesses, limitations and potential and to develop an understanding of how to thrive in the fast-paced twenty-first century. We want to engender a sense of intellectual curiosity and wonder to ensure that pupils make the most of the many opportunities open to them.

If you are worrying about your subject choices, here is some tried and tested advice from our teaching staff:

What do you enjoy?
Clearly it is very important to study subjects you enjoy. Think about what attracts you to a subject: its approach, content, practical work, projects, experiments or even the teacher. Be careful not to be too influenced by the latter, though, as you may be taught by someone else next year.

What are your strengths?
Again, these must influence your choice because they may help you to achieve the high grades necessary for future progress.

What is the advice of your teachers?
Obviously, you must consider this carefully. On occasion, it may even happen that parents and teachers offer conflicting advice. It may help you in sorting out such difficulties if you consult either your Houseparent or your Tutor.

How much coursework is involved?
The amount of coursework varies from subject to subject. The individual subject entries in the curriculum guide should give details of coursework requirements.

What is the relationship of these subjects to Sixth Form courses?
When you move on to the Sixth Form you will be expected to choose your IB subjects. For most subjects it is important to have taken the GCSE but this is not the case for all of them. All GCSE subjects are currently available in the Sixth Form. You will also have the opportunity to start courses in Economics, Psychology, and Environmental Systems and Societies or BETEC in Business Studies and NCFE in Sport and Physical Activity (Outdoor Adventure).


Click here for our initial (I)GCSE Options Sheet and (I)GCSE Curriculum Guide

Click here for our initial Sixth Form Options Sheet and Curriculum Guide

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